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Supporting society

Over the past three years, we've donated more than €27 million to charities And in 2015, through the Aegon volunteer program, employees spent a record 21,364 hours volunteering - that's more than 10 working years!

Charitable donations and volunteering

We support communities through the taxes we pay - close to €760 million in 2016. We also make donations to charities and other good causes. In 2016, we donated moer than seven million euro to charity, around 1.5% of our net income.

Our approach is simple – we believe a local connection is essential if we are to have a real impact. That is why our donations are managed on a local or national level.

In the US, for example, we have the Transamerica Foundation, which gives around 5% of its assets annually to charitable organizations.

In the UK, our Charity Committee is a voluntary body of employees from across the company who organize a wide variety of fundraising activities in support of charities nominated by employees themselves.

Donations policy

Aegon's Policy for Charitable Donations sets out minimum guidelines and standards for donations and support to charities, good causes and other non-profit organizations. Under this policy, Aegon's aim is to direct most of its donations to three main areas: health, welfare or literacy.

In all, we supported close to 500 not-for-profit organizations around the world. These organizations have one thing in common: they aim to provide sustainable, long-term improvement in the communities in which we operate.

In many instances, we try to align our community investments with our company purpose – to help people achieve a life-time of financial security. Around 60% of our businesses, for example, have active financial literacy programs. And we sponsor organizations that, in one way or another, increase the chances of specific groups to become (more) financially secure.

Raising financial awareness is also one of the goals of Aegon's retirement research centers located in the United States, Europe and Brazil. Together these centers carry out one of the largest surveys of its kind, which examines how prepared people are for retirement.

Volunteering

It's not just about the money we contribute. Aegons volunteering program has now been extended to more than 90% of Aegon's global workforce. Last year, Aegon and Transamerica volunteers gave up over 23,000 hours to work on local projects and good causes – the equivalent of nearly €1,000,000 (Based on current average salaries). Employee volunteering, we believe, is also good for business: it improves employee engagement and strengthens ties between the company and its local community.

Through our sports sponsorships, we promote a healthy lifestyle, particularly among young people. We have sponsored the Royal Dutch Rowing Federation (KNRB) since 2007, and in 2015 we became the official sponsor of The Rowing World Championships.

When we sponsor athletes, we're there for the long run. To give an example, we started sponsoring Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková in 2007. We're proud that today, she's an Olympic gold medal winner still wearing the Aegon logo.

Working closely with suppliers and local businesses

As a financial services company, we don't have a particularly complicated supply chain. But, as a customer, we make an important contribution to the businesses around us. In the Netherlands alone, we work with several thousand suppliers.

In 2015, we spent more than 1.5 billion euros on goods and services. For many of our partners, we're an important client and a significant source of income. Through them, we're supporting the creation of jobs and further economic growth. When we select our suppliers, cost is a key consideration.

But we also want to know that we're working with suppliers who share our basic values. That's why we work through a Sustainable Procurement Policy, which sets out minimum environmental and social standards, covering everything from product safety and corruption to fair wages, working conditions and human rights. In 2015 we assessed 92% of our suppliers for Environmental, Social and Governance risks.

Since 2012, we've been asking all new suppliers to endorse these standards. All our key suppliers are asked to sign a Sustainable Procurement Vendor Declaration, acknowledging and agreeing to Aegon's policy. This declaration, introduced in 2013, is signed whenever contracts are entered into or renewed. And, when contracts come up for renewal, we've also been switching over existing suppliers.

Suppliers are also expected to comply with other Aegon standards, set out in Aegon's Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy. In addition, Aegon has a company-wide outsourcing policy, and in many countries operates through a centralized procurement function.

A responsible approach to tax

We are firmly committed to making valuable economic and social contributions to the communities in which we operate, both through our own tax payments and through collection and payments of third-party taxes. We seek to pay ‘fair taxes’, which for us means paying the right amount of taxes in the right places

It is our policy to allocate profits where value is created through our commercial business activities. For us, tax follows business, which means that our decisions are taken for business reasons and not for tax advantages. We won’t, for example, set up artificial tax structures or base business in countries simply to reduce the amount of tax we pay.

Global tax policy

As a result of the dialogue with internal and external stakeholders about the need for a Global Tax Policy, we were happy to publish our new Global Tax Policy in 2016. This policy outlines Aegon’s approach to responsible taxpaying, which seeks to align the long-term interests of all our stakeholders, including customers, employees, business partners, investors, and wider society. Also meetings with several NGOs are being held to discuss Aegon’s tax strategy and policy on a regular basis.

In our relationship with tax authorities, we strive to work together in a constructive and transparent manner. This extends to public discussion and disclosure around the policies and principles of how our tax affairs are approached, and the overall governance and oversight of our tax position.

Transparency

Disclosures around taxes are provided in our financial statements and tax payments in our main markets. We are preparing for country-by-country reporting, and will ensure that the relevant information will be provided in a transparent and accurate manner to the tax authorities in 2017. We are currently assessing the value that public disclosure of this information might have for our business and our stakeholders.

In 2016 we also provided details of our total tax contribution companywide and by region (see graphs on this page). The scope is the total of taxes borne and taxes collected. Taxes borne are a cost of business and affect the financial results. Taxes collected are not a direct cost of business, but are collected on behalf of government from others. The reported numbers are on cash payment (CIT) or accrual basis.

Aegon’s tax function maintains an adequate staff of properly educated and trained tax professionals to provide timely and high-quality tax support to our commercial decision-makers. In this regard, proper governance and procedures are in place to ensure that 1) the tax team understands and is engaged in the tax effects of day-to-day business operations and involved in all significant business developments, investments and transactions; and 2) the tax consequences are considered as part of every major business decision and; 3) Aegon’s TCF is constantly evolving to a higher maturity level.

Aegon’s tax function reports to the Executive Board and Management Board in a structured and regular way, about the management of the day-to-day operations, status and effectiveness of the function. At least annually, the tax function reports to the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board.

 

 

updated July 7, 2015

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